This summer’s National Association of Musical Merchants (NAMM) convention in Nashville saw many of the usual exhibitor names – Casio, Alfred Music, Stagg, Peavey, etc. But there were a few new ones as well, and the number of music equipment manufacturers and distributors who attend from other countries continues to grow. Summer NAMM 2018 is already in the works for June 28-30.
Americana trailblazer Jason Isbell plays his new signature Martin D-18, which is manufactured to his specs, including the 12th fret inlay of his upper right arm tattoo.
All photos by Rick Moore
From left, bassist Jeff Silverman, electronic percussionist Jordan West and singer/guitarist Laura Clapp perform with some of the new offerings from Boss, including the DR-O1S Rhythm Partner percussion machine.
Guitarist Nathan Snyder demonstrates one of the models of collapsible travel guitars made by Journey Instruments of Austin, Texas.
Lewis Brice performs at the booth of Cole Clark Guitars, which is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
Gary Waits of Waits Instruments plays a four-string dulcimer, one of several stringed instruments manufactured by this relatively new company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ralf Schink demonstrates the Dexibell Vivo stage piano and other keyboards from Italian company Proel.
Singer-songwriter Tasji Bachman performs on a Taylor cutaway at the booth of Warm Audio, a manufacturer of microphones and outboard gear in Austin, Texas.
From left, writer/producer Kevin Kadish (Jason Mraz, Megan Trainor), country vocalist Sara Evans, and producer Mark Bright (Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood) discuss trends and developments in the music industry in one of several such panel discussions at Summer NAMM 2017.
From left, Isaac Moore, Jacob Moore, Daniel Moorhead and Juan De Hoyos do some clusterplucking at the booth of Wisconsin’s McPherson Guitars.
Emily Winchip, of Bluehaus Mallets in Bettendorf, Iowa, shows her chops with four mallets on a marimba, while explaining how the marimba, xylophone and vibraphone are seriously coming back into vogue.
While waiting backstage to show off his new Fender Telecaster design (see the next slide), country star Brad Paisley, left, listens intently to his hero and friend, Telecaster legend James Burton (Elvis Presley, John Denver).
Brad Paisley draws a swarm of media as he hits some of the high points of the design of the new Brad Paisley Road Worn Telecaster, his new Artist Signature guitar for the company.
Singer Buddy Robertson of popular bluegrass band Flatt Lonesome performs at the booth of Boucher, the high-end acoustic guitar manufacturer from Quebec, Canada.
Ukulele player Madeleine Anderson and her mother, Jen Anderson, have fun in the booth of GiGY bags, the customizable, modular gig bags for guitars and ukes they create and market from their home in Pennsylvania.
David Nam of Bandlab displays some of the company’s Mono pedalboards, which work with Velcro applied to the underside of the board that sticks to the bottoms of the pedals.
Cory Batson, left, and Lance Allen of the Batson Guitar Company have some fun with the company’s new spruce and rosewood Gypsy model.
Nashville songwriter and music industry impresario Doak Turner records with the ball-like Zylia microphone from Poland, an innovation that contains 19 separate microphones and can record several people at once while allowing each track to be EQ’ed separately with little-to-no bleed.
Nick LiVolsi of Loknob, whose product preserves settings on effects pedals, and David Galatas of Black Cherry, which makes intonations systems for Floyd Rose tremolos, each play a Custom GC in the upper-level Taylor Guitars room.
Award-winning guitarist Mark Krooz performs at the NAMM Best of Show presentation, simultaneously playing on both necks of a double-neck Ovation (the top neck is a 12-string, but Krooz is playing both necks with six strings), using different placements of Kyser capos on each.
Marni Sison, left, and Frank Cantrell of German-owned Ortega Guitars pick ukuleles from the company’s Eclipse series, which was a winner of NAMM’s Best in Show award.
Globetrotting blues-rocker Travis Bowlin performs at the booth of Axe Handler, which makes small portable guitar as hangers well as The Arc, a device that holds an extra guitar or banjo onstage for players who switch instruments during the course of a song.
Alyssa Serviss of Indiana, left, and her Chicago-based co-writer Rachel McLaughlin, who represent guitar company RockRabbit, compare notes, literally and figuratively, on Technics keyboards at the booth of Technics parent company Kimball.
Gary Mobley of Shubb capos plays a Tele with one of the company’s hand-engraved capos with a jewel (see inset photo), for players who have the desire, and the budget ($150), for a more upscale and showmanlike capo.
Nashville studio ace Brent Mason draws a crowd as he shows how to use the guitar effects pedals at the booth of Indiana-based Wampler Pedals and Amplifiers.
Nashville-based singer/songwriter/vocal harmony specialist Morgan May checks out a guitar from the Art & Lutherie line at the booth of Canadian guitar maker Godin.
One of the world’s leading authorities on stringed instruments, George Gruhn of Nashville’s Gruhn’s Guitars, pays a visit to the Martin booth.
American Songwriter’s Rick Moore, left, visits with Dave Matthews Band saxophonist Jeff Coffin at the booth of D’Addario, whose reeds and mouthpieces Coffin uses (and yes, it’s the same D’Addario that makes strings).
Parker Lanier, with Nashville-based company Mental Case road cases, tries out an Epiphone Hummingbird at the Gibson booth.
David Galatas from the earlier Taylor photo makes the rounds to the Lace Guitars booth, checking out a new electric model from the company that was originally known for the pickups it made for Fender.
Chery Leung plays a mandolin of Guangzhou Lang Qing Development Corp., Ltd, a stringed instrument manufacturer based in Guangzhou, China, next to the Lust for Tone Pickups and Custom Guitars booth.
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